+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
CUBA, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Cuba has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Cuba’s opposition to the antipersonnel mine ban has been consistent over the past decade; it believes that the Mine Ban Treaty does not take into consideration its “legitimate national security concerns,” such as the threat posed by the United States.[1] Cuba abstained from the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84 on 3 December 2004, which called for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. Cuba has abstained on every annual pro-ban UNGA resolution since 1996.

Cuba attended the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004 as an observer, but made no statement. The ICBL and Landmine Monitor met with the head of the delegation, Cuba’s Ambassador to Kenya.[2] Cuba did not participate in the June 2005 intersessional Standing Committee meetings.

Cuba is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, but has not ratified Amended Protocol II on landmines. It attended, as an observer, the Sixth Annual Meeting of States Parties to Amended Protocol II of the CCW, on 17 November 2004.

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Cuba’s state-owned Union of Military Industries (Unión de las Industrias Militares, UIM) is believed, in the absence of any denial or clarification from the Cuban government, to continue production of antipersonnel mines.[3] Cuba has stated several times since 1996 that it does not and has never exported antipersonnel mines.[4] However, Cuban antipersonnel mines have been cleared by deminers in Nicaragua and Angola.[5] There is no official information available on the size and composition of Cuba’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[6]

Use and Landmine Problem

Landmine Monitor did not find any evidence of new mine-laying in Cuba in 2004 or the first half of 2005. Cuba has said it will “continue to use antipersonnel mines exclusively for the defense and security of the country.”[7]

Cuba has long mined the area around the US Naval Base at Guantánamo in the southeast of Cuba. An estimated 735 acres of land were mined with some 70,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in early 1961.[8] According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, existing minefields are duly “marked, fenced and guarded” as required by CCW Amended Protocol II.[9] During the ICBL visit to Guantánamo in September 2001, it was evident that the minefields were well-maintained and protected.[10]

In May 2004, there were media reports of Cuban militia training with and planting of antipersonnel mines due to increased tensions with the United States over the war in Iraq and the tightening of the US embargo on Cuba. Landmine Monitor was unable to confirm these accounts.[11]

The United States removed its minefields on the US side of the Guantánamo buffer zone from 1996 to 1999.

Mine Action

Cuba is not directly involved in any humanitarian mine clearance activities in other countries. However it contributes to mine victim assistance through Cuban doctors working in mine-affected countries in Central America, Africa and Asia.

Landmine Casualties and Survivor Assistance

In 2004 and the first half of 2005, there were no known landmine casualties in Cuba. The last known mine casualties occurred in 2001; one person was killed and three injured in two mine incidents. Cuba has a free and universal healthcare system. The Cuban Association of Physically Disabled Persons (Asociación Cubana de Limitados Físico-Motores, ACLIFIM) provides a support network for people with physical disabilities.[12]

[1] See for example, letter to Landmine Monitor (MAC) from Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, Director, Directorate of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003.

[2] ICBL/Landmine Monitor meeting with Amb. Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta, Ambassador of Cuba to Kenya, Nairobi, 2 December 2004. Landmine Monitor requested a response to factual questions first sent in June 2003, but no response had been received as of September 2005.

[3] According to the US Department of Defense, Cuba has produced three different types of antipersonnel mines: the PMFC-1 and PMFH-1 fragmentation mines, and the PMM-1 wooden box mine. US Department of Defense, ORDATA Online, maic.jmu.edu/ordata, accessed 20 May 2004.

[4] Letter to Landmine Monitor (MAC) from Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003.

[5] Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, online update, 18 November 1999. See ORDATA Online, maic.jmu.edu/ordata for mines found in Nicaragua.

[6] One source has reported that Cuba stockpiles the Soviet-manufactured OZM-4, POMZ-2 and POMZ-2M mines, in addition to the mines manufactured domestically. See Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, online update, 18 November 1999.

[7] Letter to Landmine Monitor (MAC) from Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003.

[8] Roger Ricardo, Guantánamo, the Bay of Discord: The Story of the US military base in Cuba (Melbourne: Ocean Press, 1994), p. 4.

[9] Statement of the Directorate of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 19 June 2000.

[10] Noël Stott and Diana Roa Castro, “Report of an ICBL Visit to Cuba,” November 2001.

[11] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 955.

[12] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 956.